Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2008, Madison, Wisconsin, Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the ISSS

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Evolving to Sustainability

Jon Li


Humanity needs a conscious transformation, called a paradigm shift, to a system based on sustainable principles. Previous shifts of the magnitude of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions allow us some insight into the process. The U.S. dollar has become weak due to debt. In the U.S. and Europe, financial crises in the private sector are raising havoc in the public sector. Growing environmental problems are forcing institutions to be more responsive to limits. China seems to be racing as fast as it can to make the same mistakes as the U.S. and Western Europe. This time there does not appear to be a bottom to the economic downturn; the stages are: slowdown, recession, meltdown, depression, collapse, free fall, transition, transformation. Human nature necessitates freedom within enabling constraints. Women should be respected as equal to men. Ideas for sustainable agricultural practices and viable urban communities lead to an ecotopian economic model of plenitude, prosperity, and social stability within a healthy, nurturing environment planetwide.

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